A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label US Constitution. Show all posts
Showing posts with label US Constitution. Show all posts

July 22, 2023

Can We Still Claim to Be a Moral and Religious People?

As I've sat and watched the circus surrounding our government's House of Representative hearing on censorship, it was plain to see the mockery against the First Amendment of our Constitution. And I harkened back to a quote from one of our Founding Fathers; one that has long struck a chord in my patriotic soul. One sentence of a speech made by President John Adams in 1798 [to the Massachusetts Militia] has survived on the pages of history ... Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.  First of all, I want to make it clear that he is insinuating that without moral and religious people, the Constitution would be inadequate to rule any other people. He is pointing the Constitution towards the people, NOT the government. So, in the wake of increased contempt and scorn for our founding document, I believe it is incumbent upon us to examine ourselves. Are we still a moral and religious people? What were the 18th century standards for those character virtues which President Adams mentioned?

You can get a better idea how to answer those questions when you read President Adam's sentence within the context of his entire speech. And it will definitely make you wonder what he would think of us today. Here's the full version of what he said: “While our Country remains untainted with the Principles and manners, which are now producing desolation in so many Parts of the World: while she continues sincere and incapable of insidious and impious policy: We shall have the strongest reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned Us by Providence. But should the people of America, once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another and towards foreign nations, which assumes the Language of Justice and moderation while it is practicing Iniquity and Extravagance; and displays in the most captivating manner the charming Pictures of Candour and frankness and sincerity while it is rioting in rapine and Insolence: this country will be the most miserable Habitation in the World. Because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human Passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, Ambition, Revenge or galantry, would break the strongest Cords of our Constitution as a Whale goes through a Net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and Religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

First of all, that is quite an image ... a whale going through a net implies that the net is weak and insufficient for protection. I believe the meaning is that we are the net that protects the power and strength behind the Constitution. Are we worthy of the freedoms it offers? And don't let the language of that day prohibit you from discerning the spirit of those well informed words. I believe this is what he was trying to say, in terms of today's conversation... At the time he gave this speech in 1798, we were still a new nation. And the newly-elected second President of the United States was stating several social, moral, and religious principles we needed to sustain in order to avoid a rapid dissolution of our unified states. He's careful to say, WHILE (as long as) we do these certain things, we will be successful. What were those things? First, we needed to remain undefiled by the conspiracies and plots that were enveloping Europe at the time, such as the French Revolution and its consequences: attempts at de-Christianization of the populace, a leveling of social classes, and bribery attempts within official government circles, both foreign and domestic. The new American nation was also subject to seizure of property on the high seas by both English and French ships, and it certainly seemed as if war was impending and the U.S. could be drawn into it. That would have been disastrous for us, having just emerged from the long war that was won for our independence. 

And, IF we, as a nation and government, could continue to function honestly, without covert and secret operations, and, instead, form our policies in a Godly and righteous manner, THEN we could hope that the nation would survive, just as Providence (God) intended. He then gives this warning ... BUT, if the people of America should ever become deceptive and deceitful in their dealings, acting as if they supported Justice and fairness, yet actually adopting wickedness and greed -- if they should ever wear the mask of truth, honesty, and innocence while rioting in rapine (the violent taking of what belongs to others) and insolence (rude and disrespectful behavior), THEN "this country will be the most miserable habitation in the World". 

President Adams then goes on to say that these sins of the nation rest on the shoulders of the people, not the government! What?! Why? How could he say that? Let me posit my theory as to his suggested meaning. Our nation was built with the idea that the government would reflect the character of the people. For the first time in history, a country's citizenry would decide the moral character of its government through the process of democratic representation. This means our government is elected by its citizens. Citizens vote for their government officials, and these officials represent the citizens' ideas and concerns in government. In other words, we deserve the government we elect.

 Look closely at what he says ... there is no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled [unchecked] by morality and religion. In other words, if the character of the citizenry of our nation becomes corrupted and polluted by [in his words] Avarice (extreme greed for material gain); Ambition (here, in the sense of being driven or motived for wrong reasons and toward wrong ends); Revenge (refusing to forgive and instead, choosing to pursue retribution); and Gallantry (which in 18th century speech, meant viewing women as sexual objects for gain, rather than behaving in honor towards them) -- If we decline into that shameless and sinful behavior, then there is no government, nor governing document, like the Constitution, that can control the inevitable loss of the country.    

Can you honestly meditate on John Adams's words and deny that we are becoming the very definition of what he warned against? This nation has long been loyal and believed in the ideals of civil and religious liberty, as well as the value of moral character. The first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, were adopted to establish and protect these ideals for all the generations of this nation. But they seem to be coming into question now. Moral character used to be important, espoused throughout our national identity -- from families to the Halls of Congress. 

And how do we define moral character? The best definition I've found comes from an online class I am taking from Hillsdale College, called Theology 101: The Western Theological Tradition. The definition is this: "Moral Character is to build [within yourself] the courage and the justice and the wisdom and the moderation to live your life as a good human being". I believe John Adams and his fellow Founding Fathers had that in mind when they crafted our nation's government and the Constitution, which was written to influence every aspect of our daily lives.

But, as I witness the way in which some of the members of our society behave, and the ways in which our members of government carry out the ideas and concerns of the citizenry, I am left wondering if we can still claim to be a moral and religious people. And my understanding of that concept is that morality and religion are intertwined -- the way we treat each other is influenced by our relationship with a Sovereign God who bequeathed this blessed land to us so that we might receive the blessings of a virtuous and righteous nation. Even more important to understand is the idea that this morality and virtue/religion is the foundation of our republic, and the means by which we remain free. 

So, in my personal opinion, President John Adams would look at where we are today, and shake his head in sorrow. We are in jeopardy of losing what he and the Founding Fathers fought so hard (physically and philosophically) to establish for us. He warned us against all the things we are steeped in today ... corrupt politics, greed, deception, rioting, sexualization of women [and now children], wickedness, and the destruction of our relationships with each other and with God. We can no longer deny it, and if you aren't seeing it, you need to come out of your delusion, because it is coming for all of us. 

I, for one, -- and I know there are MANY more like me -- still believe the spirit of our founding exists today. And restoring it begins with me. We must all take John Adams's words to heart, and declare, "Not on my watch, and not by my family". I am grateful to have been born in this great nation, and to have received its abundant blessings. It is worth preserving, and it is worth the hard work it will take to repair the mistakes we've made. But I believe the Lord wants to work with us to re-establish His original purpose for this nation. We might not be able to claim we are still a moral and religious people, but we can sure begin to become one again! And let us stand behind the Constitution and not let the whale destroy the net of freedoms it guarantees us. Let us be a people that are worthy of them!

Acts 10:34-35    So Peter opened his mouth and said: "Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him". 

July 19, 2023

The Constitution, the Bible & the Survival of Our Nation

I have an important question to present to you ... Is the meaning and history of our nation's Constitution still relevant? I ask because over the last few years it has become apparent [to me, at least] that many of our government leaders have come to believe that it is insignificant and no longer suitable for our modern, enlightened, and morphing nation. After all, they believe, it was crafted by old white men, whose ideas of equality could never align with the modern, informed and progressive minds of today's governing class.

They will tell us that there is no place for the Constitution today -- not only in our national dialogue, but neither in the three branches of government, nor in the courts of the land. But they seem to have forgotten that our Founding Fathers were educated men; schooled in the wisdom of history and able to discern the dangers and possibilities of losing their God-given freedoms.  It was these ideas that were part of the founding of America; these ideas that made up the American people and constituted our American ideals. Is that still a part of our American nature and do those ideals still hold to be true?

I think now, more than ever, it is inherent on every American to understand how the Constitution came into being, and to know its meaning and history, because we are about to discard these principles and institutions and adopt others. There is a vast difference between our founding principles and the new ones our politicians are considering, and they are highly incompatible. We'd better know how they are different! 

We need to understand the uniqueness of both our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. According to Thomas Jefferson, America's Declaration of Independence "was the product of  'the American mind.'  Our Constitution was made with the same purpose as the Declaration -- to establish a regime where the people are sovereign, and the government protects the rights granted to them by their Creator."

I'm not sure our modern institution of government would even recognize that intellectual position. For just a moment, consider this: What IS the Constitution? The root or history of the word is fascinating. The word "constitution" means "to ordain and establish something."  It also means "to set a firm thing strongly in place." It is also linked to two other words that give it meaning:  statute and statue.  "Statute" means a law; ordained and established by a government upon a people as a practice that is mandatory. "Statue" connotes a work of art; something a human being makes, that is firmly established, intentional, and deliberate. The Constitution of the United States is a work of art; something lasting and beautiful.  It gives America its form. And it matters what a work of art is made of! 

So, what gives America its form?  Anytime America acts as a nation, it acts through the Constitution.  We seem to have forgotten that the President holds his office through the Constitution; the Congress is established through the Constitution; and the Courts are answerable to the Constitution.  The way the United States proceeds as a nation was very deliberately designed to be influenced by the Constitution. Sadly, we have let this founding document come under severe attack, and there is no evidence that our governing bodies still revere it, or intend to protect it. 

But what do you do when half the country's idea of what our government should look like is the polar opposite of the other half?  And what do you do when half the country wants to destroy the Constitution, doesn't think the people are sovereign, and has no desire to protect the rights granted by God? It is quite apparent that we may soon live under a different Constitution than the one bequeathed to us. We may soon have to make a choice, and the choice we make will have a profound effect on everyone in this country and the world. Our choice needs to be made well, and we need to understand the consequences of choosing any other alternative!

But there's another important aspect that impacts this discussion  ... I truly believe that God was involved in the creation of our Constitution through the men that He put in authority.  At that time, these men foresaw a nation of individuals who were generally governed by Biblical precepts -- checks and balances and a limited government were at the center of the Constitution, and would serve such a Biblically-minded society well.  Then, as now, I believe that the Bible has authority over each of us as individuals, and the Constitution has authority over the government.  That combination has worked for us since our inception as a nation, and contributed to a generally balanced co-existence between the two powers -- as long as we continued to embrace Biblical morals and principles. And that's where we find ourselves today.

Just read the headlines and look at how our society has deteriorated. Both the Constitution and the Bible have lost their influence upon the national soul. We have seen that both the Bible and the Constitution have lost their place in the governing of our nation.  In fact, there is a third player in the game, and it is Government, with a capital "G".  Since our society seems to want to eradicate the influence of both the Bible and the Constitution, is it even relevant to the masses to ask which has more authority?  Clearly, the Bible is being mocked, derided, and re-conceptualized to serve the needs of the ungodly.  And, in its tattered state, is there enough of the Constitution left to warrant any real authority?

Perhaps the more appropriate question is this: Is there enough of the Bible's influence in the Constitution to withstand its destruction by the Government?  Ultimately, as a faithful Christian, I have to go back to the one Truth that overrides all ... YHWH is Sovereign, Supreme, and the absolute Head of this State. His Word is authority over everything man-made ... whether it is a governing document like the Constitution, or a governing body of men. That might not be the politically acceptable answer in this debate, but we are at the stage in this nation (and the world) where the individual freedom of men and women is at stake. It is time to quit playing the political game, and recognize Who has the real Power in this world.  

It is clear to me that God is the Ultimate Authority in this world that He created. But I also know that His Word says that He appoints rulers over nations by His authority, and we are to be loyal to that government... as long as they are loyal to God's laws.  It is also clear that we have a spiritual Enemy that seeks to usurp God's authority in this nation. And he is doing a pretty good job! So I pray that the goals of the Founding Fathers will be realized as they expressed their hope for the new nation .... I thank God that I have lived to see my country independent and free. She may long enjoy her independence and freedom if she will. It depends on her virtue (Samuel Adams) .... Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other (John Adams) ... The sum of all is [this], if we would most truly enjoy the gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people; then shall we both deserve and enjoy it. While, on the other hand, if we are universally vicious and debauched in our manners, though the form of our Constitution carries the face of the most exalted freedom, we shall in reality be the most abject slaves (Samuel Adams). 

So, what shall be our destiny? The Bible proclaims the path to a righteous and prosperous nation. And the Constitution was designed for a moral and religious [faithful] people. Will we reap what we have sown, or will the cries of the truly repentant restore our nation to one that God will recognize and bless? I exhort the Ekklesia in the land to join with me on our knees, praying together as ambassadors of the Kingdom of God for a return to righteous government. And then rise, and staying focused on Jesus, our Authority in Heaven, we will declare a revival of morality and virtue in this nation, and it will pierce the hearts of all those in rulership positions -- that hearts will be turned away from self-aggrandizement and humbled in servitude to meet the needs of all people. Pray that if God determines that judgment is due our land, that it be swift and completely cleanses us of our sins. And finally, we find our strength and our truth in the Word of God. It is still relevant and it is still Light and Life to our souls and spirits. God bless each of you as you seek solace in the Word today!

Nehemiah 9:36    Behold, we are slaves today, and as for the land which You gave our fathers, to eat of its fruit and its goodness, Behold, we are slaves in it.

January 6, 2023

The 118th Congress: A View of Our "Messy Democracy" Within The Framework of God's Law


If you care about the state of our Republic, then you can't help but be mesmerized by our front row seat to the vote for Speaker of the House on the floor of the 118th United States Congress. As I hope you understand, the United States of America is a republic, but how is that different from a democracy? If you Google that question, you will get a lot of answers that compare the two forms of government in the same terms. So, what is the difference between a Republic and a Democracy? As I understand it, here are the basic differences:

  • Republics and democracies both provide a political system in which citizens are represented by elected officials who are sworn to protect their interests.
  • In a pure democracy, laws are made directly by the voting majority leaving the rights of the minority largely unprotected.
  • In a republic, laws are made by representatives chosen by the people and must comply with a constitution that specifically protects the rights of the minority from the will of the majority.
  • The United States, while basically a republic, is best described as a “representative democracy.”

Confused? Did you know that when the delegates of the newly formed United States Constitutional Convention debated the question in 1787, the exact meanings of the terms republic and democracy weren't exactly clear, even in the minds of the delegates! And most of us are probably familiar with the famous story about Ben Franklin ...  upon leaving Independence Hall at the Convention, Elizabeth Powel, wife of Philadelphia Mayor Samuel Powel, asked the esteemed Dr. Franklin, "Well, Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?"  "A republic", replied the Doctor, "If you can keep it". Mrs. Powell immediately challenges Dr. Franklin: "And why not keep it"? Ben Franklin replies, "Because the people, on tasting the dish, are always disposed to eat more of it than does them good". 

Fast forward to the 118th United States Congress. As we watch the endless proceedings of vote after vote for the Speaker of the House, there are many decrying the "messiness" of it all. But the beauty of our form of government is this rather simple precept: We are blessed to be held accountable for who we elect as our representatives. In turn, we must expect [and demand] accountability from those in leadership, and insist on it from those who represent us. I think we have forfeited that blessing for too long, and that is at the heart of what you're seeing on the floor of Congress today. 

Two hundred thirty-six years ago, a group of disparate representatives of thirteen colonies who had, heretofore, operated independently of each other, came together to form a constitution that established laws that determined the powers and duties of our government and guaranteed certain rights to the people of our nation. But, alas, we have not held ourselves accountable for electing principled representatives, nor have we demanded these representatives fulfill their obligations to "do the work of the people". And as Ben Franklin predicted, far too many in the government have become addicted to the taste of power. 

And here is a fact that I was unaware of until reading it in an article in Christianity Today. The Constitutional Convention of 1787 completed its task well: it established a central form of government; it preserved the individual rights of the people; and it defined the powers of the states and the nation in their relation to each other. But, they failed to include God in their proceedings. In fact, they deliberately rejected His participation, and when the deliberations became difficult and agreement seemed far off, Benjamin Franklin proposed a motion, stating, "the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings that “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” A footnote to Franklin’s speech tells us that prayers were not thought necessary, and the motion was lost by adjournment.

Perhaps the 118th Congress should revisit Dr. Franklin's motion. If we truly believe that this nation was established through the favor of Almighty God, we must recognize that at the heart of a Christian nation, there is an indisputable tenet: "the Law of God is the Law of the People", NOT "the voice of the people is as the voice of God". I would like to conclude with this statement by the Gospel Defense League in their excellent article, What Does The Bible Say About Democracy? In stating that our nation is a Christian Republic, the article proclaims this form of government "protects basic individual rights derived from the Law of God. These rights are granted by our unchanging God, not by a changing majority vote. Thus these rights are inalienable and eternal. Christianity does not deny 'democratic processes'. A Christian people are to be governed through elected representatives, but only within the framework of God's Law. God's Law, and mankind's Gospel obedience to it, is the check against the tyranny which will inevitably come under a democratic regime".   

So, as we observe the "Messy Democracy" on the floor of Congress today, we contemplate just how far our representatives have come from being responsible to those who elected them. We must recognize that perhaps we are at a crossroads in this nation. Will we continue the status quo of the last 50 years, seeing our national debt rise astronomically; the poor become poorer, while the elite in government grow richer; and the citizens of this nation become increasingly apathetic about acknowledging the part God played in the formation of our great nation. Perhaps, it is prescient that in the final adoption of the Constitution, there is no mention of God, Christ, or the Law of God. While our Constitution is a fine document that seeks to protect the individual rights of all men, it is apparent that "trust was placed in the wisdom of men, rather than the guidance of God".

Interestingly enough, there have been attempts throughout the years, beginning in 1863, to amend the Constitution to "acknowledge God and the authority of His Law". A bill has been repeatedly introduced that reads: “This nation devoutly recognizes the authority and law of Jesus Christ, Savior and Ruler of Nations, through whom are bestowed the blessings of Almighty God.” To date, it has not been adopted. So, what do you think? Can this "Messy Democracy" on display in Congress these last few days be resolved to the benefit of this nation and its people? Can we expect to survive without the acceptance of the truth that God's Law supersedes man's wisdom, and the existence of His Sovereignty prevails over the will of men? I have not given up hope on this nation and its Christian identity. But it is time that we take responsibility and ownership of all that God has blessed us with, hold our representatives accountable, and become the nation we were meant to be.

Here are links to three excellent articles that influenced my blog today:




 #118thcongress #messydemocracy #speakofthehouse #republicvsdemocracy #americanpolitics

Psalm 146:3   Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.